Feeding your baby
The first six months your baby can live off of just drinking milk either by breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Your baby does not need anything else yet. After six months your baby will also start to eat solid foods. You will then slowly familiarize your baby with different baby nutrition.
Breast milk or bottle feed?
Breast milk is the best thing you can give your baby. But breastfeeding isn’t always easy in that case bottle feeding is a good alternative. Breastfeeding has many benefits, but it takes practice and it could be that you could use some advice on how to guide your baby. Of course the maternity nurses at BabyCare are all schooled and experienced in this. It’s also possible to contact our lactation consultants.
Solid food for your baby
When your baby is six months old, he will be ready for solid food. The milk then no longer contains all the necessary nutrients your baby requires.
How do you know if your baby is ready for solid food?
Basically you start giving solid food once your baby is six months old. However it is not uncommon for a baby to be ready for this earlier. You can recognize this by observing that your baby, when it’s time to eat, eagerly eyes your food. Or when your baby starts to smack when you are eating your food and when he/she themselves starts putting everything in their mouth.
Disadvantages of starting solid food early
When you start with giving solid food early it is possible that your baby wants less breast milk and your milk production decreases. It is also possible that your baby gets an allergic reaction to certain kinds of nutrients. To decide if starting early is suitable for your baby it is wise to discuss this with your clinic.
How to give your baby its first bite?
Of course every child needs first to learn how to eat off a spoon. He needs to learn to bite and to swallow. It may therefore take a while before this happens neatly. It’s important when feeding your baby to take plenty of time and have your full attention on the task. Especially when you start it is better to only put food on the front part of the spoon. Force feeding has an adverse effect. It mainly has to be fun. Talk to him/her and tell them how tasty, nice and cosy it is.
Especially the first few times you feed your baby only a few bites will be eaten. It’s important that you don’t expect too much, but primarily focus on the reactions of your baby to this completely new experience.
Is your own cooking better than a ready baby meal in a jar?
For the taste development a ready baby meal is not the best choice seeing as the taste is often bland and the structure soft. These little jars do satisfy the strict rules imposed on the production of baby food and therefore contain all the necessary nutrients your baby needs. In Dutch ready baby food jars there are no conservatives and they contain practically no salt. To have your baby experience different kinds of vegetables and fruit you will have to offer these to him/her fresh. Of course it is possible to alternate between your own cooking and little jars. It is wise to offer home cooked food more often than food from a little jar.